Thursday, June 16, 2011

Campaign Move 18 – The Fog Clears

1600-2000 28 July 1813

The French cavalry are now recovering from their earlier battle casualties, and Davout orders an increase in recce activity to locate the Prussian corps.

Poniatowski orders his lancer brigade to move east from Helmstedt, and recce the approach to Walsbeck. As they leave Helmstedt they find a Prussian hussar brigade blocking their way.

The lancers charge the hussars and force them to fall back on their parent corps at Walsbeck. The lancers pursue, and as they near the outskirts of Walsbeck they observe 3rd Prussian corps in the town and 4th Prussian corps to the north.

The alarming report that Blucher has managed to concentrate two of his corps at Walsbeck is handed to Davout just before midnight.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Campaign Move 17 – Fog of War

1200-1600 28 July 1813

The lack of contact is causing concern at Davout’s headquarters in Helmstedt.

The French are still recovering following recent battles, and in particular cavalry brigades have suffered casualties and need to regroup before they can undertake further operations. The lack of cavalry recce ability has come at a time when the Prussian corps have withdrawn east.

Davout is concerned that Blucher is planning an offensive in the south, but must locate his corps before he can launch his own attack.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Campaign Move 16 – Prussian Retreat

0800-1200 28 July 1813

After four days of fighting both armies are in disorder and most corps have casualties.

The Prussian Army has come off worse during the previous four battles, and there is a general movement to the east. In doing so they have broken contact with most of the French corps, some of whom are regrouping and preparing for an advance east.

Communications between CinC and the furthest corps has also suffered due to the upheaval of the past few days. It is taking up to four moves for some reports to reach both Blucher and Davout, and the same again for their orders to arrive. As a result those corps furthest from the CinC have been authorized to act on their own initiative.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Campaign Move 15 - Second Battle of Uelzen

1600-2000 27 July 1813

Kleist was aware that possession of north Uelzen would decide the battle. He ordered his last brigade to march behind the town and take it. Unfortunately the only available brigade was 8 Landwehr.

Because of the large gap between his cavalry and artillery, and the infantry, Reynier was unable to exercise command of both. He left the former and rode back to the infantry to take command of 13 infantry brigade, the only full strength one. He force marched them towards north Uelzen, and they reached it just as 8 Landwehr entered from the north.

South Uelzen was occupied by the Prussians, but they could not advance due to enemy artillery, Kleist ordered his guns to limber so that he could reposition them within range of the enemy cavalry. As soon as he did so the French cuirassiers charged them, and the gunners had to seek safety in the nearby infantry square. The Prussians were now without artillery or effective cavalry.

Although the French cavalry prevented the enemy gunners from manning their guns, they could not prevent the infantry square from pushing them away from the abandoned guns, and towards their own artillery. To avoid masking their own guns they eventually had to withdraw away from the square. This allowed the Prussian gunners to limber their guns and withdraw them.

The battle concentrated on north Uelzen. The elite French infantry pushed the landwehr out of the town, but Kleist has a second brigade ready to continue the skirmish. As night approached they were also evicted from the town.

The French held north Uelzen, the Prussians south Uelzen. With only one infantry brigade Reynier could not attempt to take the other half of the town. With two infantry brigades in rout Kleist could not continue the battle for north Uelzen.

1600 27 July 1813

The Prussians had started the battle with light casualties spread through their infantry brigades. Although they outnumbered the French infantry, they were at a great disadvantage in a one to one skirmish fight. The French cavalry and artillery prevented Kleist bringing his greater number of infantry against north Uelzen.

So one by one the Prussian infantry were defeated, and routed. 13 French brigade only suffered light casualties, and were capable of holding the north Uelzen as night fell.

Despite their lack of effective cavalry, the Prussians were able to retire during the night behind a strong infantry rear guard. They had suffered heavy infantry casualties, to add to those obtained in the earlier battle. The French had only suffered light casualties to 13 infantry brigade.

This was a decisive French victory. 2nd Prussian corps would take a long time to recover from their casualties and the Prussian north flank was now open. IV French corps also had considerable casualties, but they would recover sufficiently during the night to be capable of limited operations the following day.

2000 27 July 1813

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Campaign Move 14 - Second Battle of Uelzen

1200-1600 27 July 1813

Reynier ordered his cavalry brigade to move forward to charge range of the long Prussian column in order to delay their advance on Uelzen. He then returned to his own corps column and brought forward his artillery to support the cavalry.

Kleist ordered his leading infantry brigade to form square, and deployed his artillery in close support. This prevented the enemy cavalry approaching any nearer, but it also halted his march on Uelzen until the deployment was complete.

Behind the artillery and square, the next two infantry brigades continued their march towards the town. The first brigade entered south Uelzen, the second continued on towards north Uelzen.

Reynier returned to his corps column and force marched his elite 13th infantry brigade towards north Uelzen. This was the only casualty free brigade, the remaining three all had casualties, and he decided to leave them out of the battle. This would allow him a lot of command points to attack with 13th brigade, the cavalry and the artillery. But he would only have one infantry brigade with which to take the town. If they were defeated it would be too late to bring the remainder up in time.

Kleist was intimated by the remaining three French infantry brigades, and deployed his weak cavalry, and his remaining infantry brigade, to the west of Uelzen.

Table at 1600 27 July 1813

Friday, June 3, 2011

Second Battle of Uelzen – Move 12

1900-2000 27 July 1813

Table at the start of move 12

Two Prussian brigades are in rout on the right, and a third in south Uelzen is shaken – all down to the skirmish ability of 13 French brigade.

IV French corps

General Reynier (Gifted) – 8CP – Engage Orders

Artillery fire close range on south Uelzen, one hitAlign Left

Garrison test morale, pass and become disordered

Cavalry about turn and form line facing enemy

13 brigade garrison’s north Uelzen

13 brigade skirmish 7 Prussian, no casualties

2nd Prussian corps

General Kleist (Average) – 5CP – Engage Orders

Kleist moves to square

Gunners return to abandon guns, limber and move east

Square retreats to cover artillery

8 brigade test morale for rout, fails and continue to rout

5 brigade test morale for rout, fails and continue to rout

Table at end of move 12

The French have taken north Uelzen, the Prussians hold south Uelzen

The Prussians have two brigades in rout, and have clearly lost the battle.

Even without effective cavalry, the Prussians will be able to retire east during the night

The French will have to wait at Uelzen until they can bring up their reserve infantry

Notes on Game

Both corps started the game with casualties from a previous battle.

The French opted to fight the battle without the three infantry brigades who had casualties. This gamble paid off as their one full strength brigade defeated three Prussian brigades one after the other.

The Prussians suffered heavy casualties. They lost 6 new infantry casualties to add to their existing 3 infantry and 2 cavalry

The French suffered light casualties. Only 1 new infantry casualty to add to their existing 5 infantry.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Second Battle of Uelzen – Move 11

1800-1900 27 July 1813

Table at the start of move 11

The skirmish fight for north Uelzen continues, but the French are gaining the upper hand, the right hand Prussian brigade is shaken and cannot skirmish

2nd Prussian corps

General Kleist (Average) – 7CP – Engage Orders

Shaken 5 brigade retired facing enemy

Kleist moves to square

Square continued to move towards cavalry, cavalry continue to retire

Kleist returns to town

7 brigade skirmish 13 French

7 brigade test morale for another casualty, fail and become shaken

5 brigade test morale for shaken, fails and routs

8 brigade test morale for rout, fails and continue to rout

IV French Corps

General Reynier (Gifted) – 8CP – Engage Orders

Artillery fires close range on south Uelzen, no casualties

Cuirassiers move away from enemy square to avoid blocking artillery

13 brigade skirmish 7 Prussian, no casualties

Notes on Game

Cavalry may not charge a formed square, and they must keep out of the square 4” defence zone. So by moving towards the cavalry each move, the square is pushing them away from the abandoned guns and towards their own artillery. Soon they will mask the artillery firing on south Uelzen.

Defence Zones are covered in wargame rule 5

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Second Battle of Uelzen – Move 10

1700-1800 27 July 1813

Table at the start of move 10

The battle for north Uelzen continues

The Prussian square is forcing the cuirassiers back towards their artillery

IV French corps

General Reynier (Gifted) – 6CP – Engage Orders

Artillery fire close range on south Uelzen, no casualties

13 brigade skirmish 5 Prussian, no casualties

2nd Prussian corps

General Kleist (Average) – 5CP – Engage Orders

7 brigade garrison south Uelzen

Routed 8 brigade move north of Uelzen

5 and 7 brigades skirmish 13 French

5 brigade test morale for casualty, fail and are shaken

8 brigade test morale for shaken, fail and rout

Notes on Game

Although outnumbered, 13 French brigade is elite and is overcoming one Prussian brigade after another. The Prussian casualties from the previous battle are now taking effect.

Morale tests are covered in wargame rule 17